Energy-efficient hydrogen separation by AB-type ladder-polymer molecular sieves

Bader Ghanem, Raja Swaidan, Xiaohua Ma, Eric Litwiller, Ingo Pinnau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


The synthesis, microstructures, and exceptional gas transport properties of two new soluble ladder polymers, polymers of intrinsic microporosity (TPIM-1 and TPIM-2) containing triptycene moieties substituted with branched isopropyl and linear propyl chains at the 9,10-bridgeheads were reported. The precursor A-B monomers were modified with an o -difluoride functionality for enhanced activation for nucleophilic aromatic substitution. In a Schlenk tube, a mixture of the A-B monomer, 18-crown-6, anhydrous DMF and anhydrous potassium carbonate was stirred at 155 °C under nitrogen atmosphere for 20 min followed by the addition of toluene. The reaction was continued for another 45 min and more toluene was added. After another 45 min the reaction mixture was cooled to room temperature and poured into methanol. Slow evaporation of filtered, dilute 3-5 wt% chloroform solutions from a leveled glass plate yielded isotropic polymer films. Dry membranes were soaked in methanol for 24 h, air-dried, and then heated at 120°C for 24 h under high vacuum to remove any traces of residual solvent. TPIM-1 exhibits simultaneous boosts in permeability and selectivity, which highlights the significant potential of an isopropyl-substituted triptycene moiety as a contortion center for ladder PIMs.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6696-6700
Number of pages5
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number39
StatePublished - Jul 19 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology baseline funding for Ingo Pinnau.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Energy-efficient hydrogen separation by AB-type ladder-polymer molecular sieves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this